Jeremy Maddock on an old ‘Dean Team’ idea of affordable housing in Victoria: ‘politicians only support affordable housing that’s publicly funded and managed.’ Letter published in Times Colonist, October 27, 2011.

City wants a monopoly on affordable housing

BY JEREMY MADDOCK, TIMES COLONIST OCTOBER 27, 2011

Re: “‘It’s not going to cost the city a penny,’ ” Times Colonist, Oct. 22.

I was quite disgusted to read that the City of Victoria is continuing to block a private developer’s efforts to offer affordable housing units in an unused downtown hotel.

Wherever you come from ideologically, it’s difficult to deny that Victoria is in desperate need of more affordable housing.

It’s one of the main talking points in every local election.

But it seems that once they are elected, local politicians only support affordable housing that’s publicly funded and managed.

When a private entrepreneur comes along with a viable business model to turn an empty hotel into cheap housing for struggling Victorians, City Hall opposes it.

Could it be that politicians only believe in helping people when they have a monopoly on doing it?

I was also a little shocked by at least one councillor’s rationale for opposing the private affordable housing plan:

“Coun. Lynn Hunter is worried that the nature of the development could make it a magnet for single men, which could lead to added social costs such as police calls the city will have to pick up in the future.”

Can you imagine if this councillor had said the same thing about blacks, natives, or basically any minority group other than “single men?”

Jeremy Maddock

Victoria

Read more:http://www.timescolonist.com/business/City+wants+monopoly+affordable+housing/5614717/story.html#ixzz1elHb4zPb

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Jeremy Maddock on ‘harm reduction’ and prohibition: “Both ideologies are immoral.”

Hello Gregory,

Glad to hear that you’re still one of the few people speaking rationally in Greater Victoria politics.

Prohibition of drugs is vindictive, imposing unnecessary pain on those who have not necessarily done harm to others. “Harm reduction” shields people from the natural consequences of their own negative behaviour. Both ideologies are immoral.

Drug abuse can be devastating. The results of this devastation might spur certain individuals into change and onto the right path. Shielding them from their own behaviour (i.e. harm reduction) will lull them into complacency, while the creation of additional punitive consequences (i.e. prohibition) will inevitably force them further into misery.

The only (potential) solution is principled Christian compassion, which differs from either punitive destruction or passive enabling. If (and only if) people want to change, they have to make a choice to change. Principled compassion *might* help them in this regard.

Food banks and low-cost housing can be a part of this, but as you correctly state, government should not be at the forefront. Government screws up most projects (and people) it touches. The only solution is to lower the tax burden on all of us and trust good people to show some compassion and guidance to those in need who genuinely want a better life.

 Jeremy Maddock